Majestic volcanic landscapes, mountain rain forests of the tropics, fabulous coastal scenery and a lot of sugar cane – that’s what Negros is! This island is part of the Western Visayas region and is divided into two provinces: Negros Occidental (Negros Occidental) covers the northwest, Negros Oriental (Negros Oriental) – the southeast of the island. The island has the most extensive sugarcane plantations in the Philippines and is one of the largest suppliers of sugar on the planet, earning it the nickname “Sugar Island”. The vast fields on which these valuable cereals are cultivated are located mainly in the north of Negros. Visiting the modern industrial plants and historic sugar mills of the ancient colonial towns of Bacolod, Silai and Victorias, you can learn interesting details about
The romantic wilderness of the volcanoes and mountainous regions of northern Negros creates an amazing contrast with the cultural landscapes of the island. Hot springs, thermal pools, waterfalls and lagoons line the paths leading to the craters of mighty volcanoes. To the south is the Tablas Plateau with its natural attractions, among them the famous twin lakes, or Twin Lake, and the Kasaroro waterfall.
The coastal regions are also full of wild beauty: palm-fringed white sand beaches south of the west coast and the hidden bays of Negros offer everything you need for an unforgettable beach holiday on a tropical island.
Negros is also famous for its lively underwater life and richness of fish species, which reminds many divers of a crowded aquarium. The most popular dive sites are in the east and southeast, off the friendly coastal town of Dauin, around the islands of Apo, Siquijor and Sipawai.
Dumaguete City. This charming university town is located on the southeast coast of the island and is the capital of the province of Negros Oriental. Charming green spaces, reminiscent of Spanish colonial rule, manors, churches and a bell tower adorn Dumaguete. Also noteworthy is the impressive building of the university itself and the old cathedral at the entrance to the city park. A wonderful promenade, “Risal Boulevard”, stretches right by the sea. Here, in a cafe under the canopy of acacias and palm leaves, you can sit for a long time, and, having completely abandoned worries, listen to the sound of the waves.
Malatapai Market. Colorful stalls of fresh vegetables, exotic herbs, fragrant mango and papaya, spit-roasted pig and grilled fish lure travelers and locals alike to Malatapai Market in Maluai every Wednesday. This is one of the most beautiful markets in the Philippines and is located just 30 kilometers south of Dumaguete.
Dauin. The golden-bronze, clean beaches of the Dauin community – the oldest in the province – are highly recommended for visiting and, in addition to excellent resorts for divers and beach lovers, they can offer something very special – hot springs! Mineral-rich water spurts from the sand on the beach, and this volcanic activity can also be observed underwater. Dauin is located 15 kilometers from Dumaguete and for many divers is the gateway to the extremely rich marine life off the coast.
Bais. About 50 kilometers from Dumaguete is the Tanyon Strait separating Negros and Cebu – a place where you can often see frolicking whales and dolphins. From the town of Bais on the east coast of Negros Oriental, many tours depart to observe these amazing marine mammals.
Just beyond Dumaguete is the Tablas plateau, the highest point of which is the 1864-meter mountain Cuernosde Negros. The incredibly rich flora and fauna of this region makes it a real paradise for nature lovers. In the local lakes, rivers and thickets of the primary mountain rain forest, numerous endemic, extremely rare species of animals live, among them the Prince Alfred deer and the red-breasted chicken dove – a bird that, despite the ability to fly, prefers to walk on the surface of the earth most of the time.
Twin lakes. At an altitude of 900 meters, about 25 kilometers northwest of Dumaguete, there are two green-blue crater lakes – Balinsasayo and Danao, framed by untouched rainforests. The view of them is fantastic – wild and at the same time harmonious, as if from dreams. In the jungle, trails lead to lost waterfalls and hot springs, evidence of geothermal activity in these places.
Casaroro waterfalls. One of the most beautiful and most photogenic waterfalls of the island of Negros is Casaroro, 9 kilometers from Dumaguete, to which a path of 350 steps leads. The narrow, rocky riverbed in front of the abyss defines the unusually narrow shape of the falls. The stream rushes down from a 30-meter sheer wall at the foot of which a pool has formed. Among the cliffs densely overgrown with tropical vegetation, you can swim or have a picnic.
Palinpinon geothermal power plant.
Our planet is heated from the inside to unimaginable temperatures and thus has an inexhaustible supply of energy – if you know how to use it. The Philippines ranks second in the world in the use of geothermal energy to generate electricity. Of the country’s many geothermal power plants, two are located in Valencia, 21 km away. south of Dumaguete. The steam here is sent through pipes to turbines connected to electric generators, bringing the heat of the earth to the surface – it’s worth seeing!
Paradise gardens for divers.
The waters off the southeast coast of Negros have long ceased to be the secret route of professional divers: the fantastic underwater worlds off the coast of Dauin, Siquijor Island and Apo have become world famous due to the huge number of species and the diversity of coral landscapes. At first-class sites, many of which are protected by conservation organizations, even the most experienced divers will discover a variety of unseen sea creatures.
Dive sites of Dauin. Dauin is an excellent starting point for dive safari as it is only a few minutes boat trip from most sites. One of the oldest marine reserves in the Bisai region is Masaplod Norte. This pretty reef is home to an incredible array of fish species. Huge flocks of snappers, groupers, sweetlips, large barracudas swim here, as well as stargazer fish, cowfish or horned boxfish, stingrays, turtles and huge scorpion fish. A particularly tempting place is the Dauin Marine Reserve, whose lush coral carpet spreads out in shallow water and therefore will be of great interest to snorkelers.
Diving off the island of Siquijor. East of Negros, Oriental Siquijor is easily accessible by high-speed ferry from Dumaguete. Transfers to Siquijor are also organized by most local resorts. This island is still relatively unknown among travelers and therefore is especially suitable for those who are looking for solitude on vacation. For divers, there are a variety of underwater landscapes teeming with life. One of them is the Paliton wall, which goes down to a depth of 40 meters and is covered with large fan-shaped, black and soft corals.
The star of the underwater space is Apo Island. Since the 1970s, the waters around the small hilly island of Apo have been protected and monitored by scientists from Silliman University in Dumaguete. Snorkelers and divers find such a diverse and breathtakingly beautiful underwater world off Apo Island that many consider this reef to be one of the country’s top diving attractions. The island is surrounded by fantastic, densely vegetated coral reefs. The local “City of clown fish” is home to huge flocks of these fish.